There’s nothing I like better than getting the girls into bed of an evening and settling down in front of the Tellybox for a couple of hours of escapism. Now and then I’ll try my hand at something I think I ought to like, because it’s critically acclaimed, ‘raw’ or well acted. A couple of episodes in, as I cower behind my cushion in tears I wonder why I bothered. I don’t want to spend my precious evenings a nervous wreck, waiting for the serial killer to pounce.
So I’ve given up on the hard hitting dramas for good, and am now indulging in my latest discovery Escape to the Chateau on Channel 4. The first episode I watched was midway through the second series, I stumbled across it when poorly and I just needed something to keep me occupied in my sick bed. From that moment I’ve been hooked.
Escape to the Chateau follows husband and wife Dick and Angel with their two young children, as they renovate a 45 room, 5 storey French chateau without bucketloads of cash. Over the four series you see a delapidated building with no sewerage, heating or electricity transformed into a beautiful, characterful family home and events venue. The best thing about it though is that you see every element of hard work, the setbacks and the surprises. You see Angel squeezing in a couple of hours of creativity here and there as she is also fully occupied with motherhood, you see Dick having to leave the family behind so that he can earn enough money to fund the next part of the project. It feels so real and uncontrived compared to other programmes of its kind.
I have found myself falling in love with this courageous pair. Their passion and confidence is quite incredible, not to mention their considerable talents. But they just don’t seem to fall out, despite what appear to be some very high stakes, stressful situations.
And look what they’ve achieved. Unique style, and you guessed it, on a shoestring. My heros!
Now onto the next one, I’ve now discovered Escape to the Chateau DIY. Trip to France anyone?